Son's Automotive Group Compares 2017 Ram 1500 VS 2017 GMC Sierra Near Duluth, GA

Responsive image

2017 Ram 1500

Responsive image

2017 Ram 1500

Responsive image

2017 GMC Sierra

Safety Comparison

Both the Ram 1500 and the Sierra have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available four-wheel drive and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ram 1500 is safer than the GMC Sierra:


Ram 1500



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

192 lbs.

269 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

48 G’s

51 G’s

Hip Force

681 lbs.

971 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 31 percent more Ram dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 1500’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Ram 1500 has a standard 180-amp alternator. The Sierra’s standard 150-amp alternator and largest (Regular Cab 4WD) 170-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Ram 1500’s reliability will be 13% better than the Sierra.

Engine Comparison

The Ram 1500’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 115 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 305) than the Sierra’s standard 4.3 V6. The Ram 1500’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 383) than the Sierra’s optional 5.3 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ram 1500 V8 is faster than the GMC Sierra V8:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.4 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Ram 1500 V6 diesel 4x4 gets better fuel mileage than the Sierra with its standard engine 4x4 (19 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Ram 1500 HFE’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sierra doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ram 1500 uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The Sierra with the 6.2 V8 engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Ram 1500’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sierra:




Front Rotors

13.2 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.6 inches

The Ram 1500’s brakes have 13% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Sierra (566 vs. 502 square inches), so the Ram 1500 has more braking power available.

The Ram 1500 stops much shorter than the Sierra:


Ram 1500



60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Ram 1500 has larger standard tires than the Sierra (265/70R17 vs. 255/70R17).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Ram 1500 has front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Ram 1500 flat and controlled during cornering. The Sierra’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The front and rear suspension of the Ram 1500 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Sierra, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Ram 1500 has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Sierra doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The Ram 1500’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions that would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sierra doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Ram 1500’s wheelbase is longer than on the Sierra:


Ram 1500


Regular Cab Standard Bed

120.5 inches

119 inches

The Ram 1500 standard bed Sport Quad Cab 4x4 handles at .77 G’s, while the Sierra 1500 Standard Box SLE Regular Cab 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Ram 1500 short bed Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Sierra 1500 Short Box Denali Crew Cab 4x4 (29 seconds @ .56 average G’s vs. 30 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Ram 1500’s turning circle is tighter than the Sierra’s:


Ram 1500


Regular Cab Standard Bed

39.5 feet

40 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed

45.1 feet

46.9 feet

Crew Cab Short Bed

39.5 feet

47.2 feet

Regular Cab Standard Bed 4x4

39.8 feet

40 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed 4x4

45.4 feet

46.9 feet

Crew Cab Short Bed 4x4

39.8 feet

47.2 feet

Crew Cab Standard Bed 4x4

45.4 feet

48.6 feet

For greater off-road capability the Ram 1500 short bed Crew Cab w/Air Suspension has a 1.9 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sierra 1500 Double Cab (10.8 vs. 8.9 inches), allowing the Ram 1500 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Ram 1500 Quad Cab has 2.5 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear hip room than the Sierra Double Cab.

The Ram 1500 Crew Cab has 2.5 inches more front hip room and 2.9 inches more rear hip room than the Sierra Crew Cab.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over bed design makes loading and unloading the Ram 1500 easier. The Ram 1500 Regular Cab’s bed lift-over height is 34.8 inches, while the Sierra Regular Cab’s liftover is 36.3 inches. The Ram 1500 Quad Cab’s bed lift-over height is 34.6 inches, while the Sierra Double Cab’s liftover is 34.8 inches. The Ram 1500 Crew Cab’s bed lift-over height is 34.6 inches, while the Sierra Crew Cab’s liftover is 34.9 inches.

The Ram 1500 has a standard tailgate assist feature, which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. Tailgate assist is only available on the GMC Sierra SLE/SLT/Denali.

Ergonomics Comparison

Keyless Enter ‘n Go optional on the Ram 1500 allows you to unlock the doors and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The GMC Sierra doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Ram 1500’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sierra’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the Ram 1500 and the Sierra offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Ram 1500 Quad/Crew Cab has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Sierra doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Ram 1500 is less expensive to operate than the Sierra because it costs $702 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Ram 1500 than the Sierra, including $98 less for a water pump, $131 less for front brake pads, $87 less for a starter, $152 less for fuel injection, $244 less for a fuel pump, $47 less for front struts, $296 less for a timing belt/chain and $251 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Motor Trend selected the Ram 1500 as their 2014 Truck of the Year. The Sierra was Truck of the Year in 1999.

The Ram 1500 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 4 of the last 7 years. The Sierra hasn’t been picked since 2002.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Ram 1500 as the 2013 North American Truck of the Year. The Sierra has never been chosen.

The Ram Pickup outsold the GMC Sierra by over two to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.